SRU hosting ‘Building Bridges’ event to celebrate local nonprofits and civic action, April 19


Building bridges

Ebtehal Badawi, the founder of Pittsburgh Builds Bridges, is the keystone speaker at Slippery Rock University’s Building Bridges event honoring local nonprofit organizations and faculty and students for the civic action.

April 3, 2024

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Slippery Rock University's Institute for Nonprofit Leadership and Office for Community-Engaged Learning will host an event to honor local nonprofit organizations, as well as students and faculty for their civic action. The event, titled "Building Bridges," is 5 p.m., April 19, in Smith Student Center Theater.

Formerly the Nonprofit Academy Awards Gala, this event merges SRU's celebration of student and faculty civic action awardees and the INL's celebration of nonprofits, with the goal of building stronger networks and future collaborations between the two groups.  

Several nonprofit organizations in western Pennsylvania, including their staff, board members and volunteers will be recognized for their dedication to making a difference in their communities.

The keynote speaker is Ebtehal Badawi, the founder of Pittsburgh Builds Bridges, an initiative promoting diversity and unity in Pittsburgh through art. SRU President Karen Riley will also speak about building bridges between the University and its surrounding communities.   

The event will include guided networking opportunities and a silent auction.

Nonprofit organizations throughout Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Lawrence and Mercer counties are invited to nominate their staff, volunteers and others involved with their organizations for awards such as Volunteer of the Year, Program Staff Member of the Year, Most Creative Special Event, Organizational Commitment to DEIB, Bridge Builder and many others. Nominations are being accepted online through April 5. 

Tickets for the event can be purchased on the SRU website by April 10. Cost is $15 for students and $50 for all other individuals and $350 for groups of eight. 

For more information, contact Melissa Swauger, professor of nonprofit management, philanthropy, empowerment and diversity studies, at or 724.738.4192. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 |